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There is currently a noticeable uptick in people playing. Emerald Lodge isn't crowded - but it seems no matter which time I log in I see either some of my members or visitors around.
These visitors are from all over the map - Forgeholm, Brighthaven, Keepers, HRC, PFU - I even spotted a few notorious Fianna members behaving well while our guests.
Golgotha / Kreuz Bernstein are currently dead. There are still players out and you see an uptick. Call it a sleeping dragon. My TT group just awakened one in Rise of the Runelords and the 1on1 Ancient dragon against level 14 Dragon Deciple ended Eren Jaeger style (Attack on Titan) - only one severed hand was what was left. Too bad he didnt regenerate.
But I digress
What is new / exiting in the game
All older settlements still playing have build up their own
settlement using buildings they have chosen. Settlements therefore
differ now according to what players wanted them to be.
There was a rush to build up free slots which is mainly over now. The need to have +1 or higher buildings to have high training isn't implemented yet. Instead you can burn bulk goods and EL currently has a level 18 training for that which I know we won't be able to afford long term.
PvP is at a lull. Don't expect it to pick up before EoX is back or someone else enters - both only likely when a finl announcement of the new company happens.
EL is using this time to build up themselves as trade hub. In my view this game only ever will work if there is movement of goods and resources which will drive conflict. We had >20,000 raw materials change hand over the last month, 15,000 in the last two weeks - tendency increasing.
Most is not from EL as this amount would lead to strip mining. All of this is still an order of magnitude to small to drive conflict over resources. But it goes in the right direction.
Otherwise there is the hunt for tier 3 recipes which are rare with only one escalation allowing them to be farmed - so whenever this escalation shows up hordes are descending there - peacefully so far - and tempers flare when the escalation gets killed instead of farmed by a so far unknown group/individual (there are lots of accusations flying though).
Crafters now take around a month or two to get new levels. The level 15 and 16 gates proof hard for some of them. You need to craft an uncommon +4 or +5 item. In principle this isn't any problem as you get all the refined materials for free crafting 10 +3 (for a +4) or 200 +3 (for a +5).
The problem is - optimising crafting by avoiding +3 materials can make it more difficult. And off course there are many more crafters wanting to go through these gates as players buying/ needing the produced items.
There isn't a market (yet) for +5 refined materials as everyone needs them. +4 can be bought easily enough though.
There also isn't a market for T3 recipes or T3 crafted items. Players either know someone who crafts it for free or rant willing to pay a price that makes sense for a crafter.
T3 + refined goods are still very, very rare. This is a combination of level (you can't make a +1 if you just learned the refined item on that level) and lack of recipes. So a lot is done using lucky drops and we are back to +0 or +1.
The game has been at a low between start September and the arrival of 11.1. Since then it is slowly growing again. You see new players starting, old ones coming back. This game by no means is healthy yet. It still needs the money from the new investor and a new team to kick it up a gear or two.
But in my view it has recovered from stuttering and dying to a more cruising and sleeping pace. Let's see what happens in March/April. I'm not expecting wonders - but I know a lot of players sitting on the sideline waiting to be back.